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Ten questions for a training manager – Dermot Kelly, Seagate Technology


Continuing our series of '10 questions', Dermot Kelly of Seagate Technology gives us his views.

1. How did you come to work in training?

Just by chance I was a manufacturing manager and training in manufacturing belongs to the department rather than central function;which was the case previously.

2. Describe your role.
There are 11 trainers on each shift(there are 4 shifts)The trainers report to a training manager on shift who has dotted line responsibility to me.

3. What activities do you spend most of your time on?Deciding on what we are going to train our people next.Tracking performance.

4. Is training in your organisation mainly organised according to a strategic plan, or mainly arranged when a need has become evident?
Mainly arranged when needs become evident.

5. Is any of your training accredited by external bodies?
Yes, we do NVQs with the Engineering Training Council.

6. Do you feel that training has a high enough profile in your organisation?
No it is not seen as important as many other things such as output, quality etc, but that is probably the case everywhere.

7. How do you demonstrate the value of your department to your organisation?
We can show data for misprocess(mistakes our operators make)decreasing. Time taken to train has decreased. Factory throughput has also risen and this is to do with training.
We also recently introduced a new electronic Manufacturing Execution System and that became a massive job for our trainers to train all the shopfloor staff in its use.The MES implementation was a great success due to the ability of the trainers to train and troubleshoot problems.

8. What influences do you think have had the greatest impact on the training sector in recent years?
In our case the greatest influence has been the advent of electronic training material and testing.

9. Do you think that training professionals should have a greater say in planning national training policy?

10. How do you see your work changing or developing in the next few years?
I will move to more strategic role where the training within the manufacturing department will become more automatic as opposed to myself having to go back and complain about it not happening.

If you would be interested in sharing your views, email us!


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